Normal Topic Skip Webb admits PCASS is easy to beat (Read 5313 times)
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Skip Webb admits PCASS is easy to beat
Apr 22nd, 2008 at 6:57am
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In another thread Skip Webb made some rather damning admissions.  I think it will be worthwhile to review them.  He has freely admitted that:
    (1) It is easy to beat the PCASS; and
    (2) It is reasonable to suppose that the people the PCASS is supposed to detect know how to beat it.

I agree with both of the points that he has made and I thank him for making them.  Of course, neither Skip nor I would say it can be beaten 100% of the time, even by a very well-trained person.  But as Skip has pointed out, even people without much education can learn to foil the device fairly easily and without any formal training.

But this uncharacteristic love fest between Skip and I is at an end, because I disagree with him on his third point, which is as follows:
    (3) Even though the PCASS can be easily beaten and those who it was designed to detect probably know how to beat it, the device should still be used.

Think about that for a moment.  He has admitted that the device can be compromised and that the people whose deception it exists to detect probably know how to defeat it.  But we should still use it anyway.  That is like using a code that you know they enemy has cracked and complaining that they shouldn't have been able to figure it out.  Or it's like giving people HIV tainted blood and insisting that it's the fault of the AIDS sufferers who donated the blood.  The fact is, Mr. Webb wants U.S. military personnel to use a system that he knows cannot usefully detect deception to do just that.  That's wrong, folks.  Would we send them into battle with rifles that jammed 35% of the time and then condemn the whistle blower who warned them that their firearms are faulty?  Webb would!

Now, there are, logically, two possibilities--and only two.  

First, it is possible that Mr. Webb doesn't realize how untenable his position is.  This would not be as surprising as one would normally think, since thinking critically is not a skill highly valued among polygraphers (indeed, it is as discouraged as chastity in a brothel).  If this is the case, Mr. Webb is a dunce and we need not put any weight in anything he says.  Pity him.

The second--and only other--possibility is that Mr. Webb realizes that his position is untenable but promotes it anyway.  If this is the case, Mr. Webb is an evil man; he is putting brave men and women of our nation's armed forces in far more harm than they should be.  That's pretty damned evil where I come from. 

I won't prejudice the matter by giving my opinion on whether Mr. Webb is stupid or evil; instead, I'll piss him off further by saying you can examine the evidence and make up your own mind about it.
  

Is former APA President Skip Webb evil or just stupid?

Is former APA President Ed Gelb an idiot or does the polygraph just not work?

Did you know that polygrapher Sackett doesn't care about detecting deception to relevant questions?
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Re: Skip Webb admits PCASS is easy to beat
Reply #1 - Apr 23rd, 2008 at 7:17am
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After considering the above post again I want to add a needed clarification.  It is possible that Skip Webb is both evil and and idiot.  He must be at least one or the other; he may be both. 

Logic can be a real bitch.
  

Is former APA President Skip Webb evil or just stupid?

Is former APA President Ed Gelb an idiot or does the polygraph just not work?

Did you know that polygrapher Sackett doesn't care about detecting deception to relevant questions?
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Re: Skip Webb admits PCASS is easy to beat
Reply #2 - May 6th, 2008 at 1:37pm
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My God, Lethe you really are on a different planet aren't you?  Let me clarify a few things for those of us on this planet, if not for you.

1.  I have made no statement whatsoever about the accuracy of the PCASS on this site or anywhere else.

2.  I have never even seen a PCASS other than on the MSNBC video.

3.  I don't operate the PCASS nor will I ever do so in all probability.

4.  As for those damnig admissions you attribute to me, you must be hearing or seeing things the rest of us don't. Roll Eyes Grin
  
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Re: Skip Webb admits PCASS is easy to beat
Reply #3 - May 7th, 2008 at 1:09am
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skip.webb wrote on May 6th, 2008 at 1:37pm:
My God, Lethe you really are on a different planet aren't you?  Let me clarify a few things for those of us on this planet, if not for you.

1.  I have made no statement whatsoever about the accuracy of the PCASS on this site or anywhere else.


I'll assume that is technically correct.  But there are three possibilities:
    (1) you think the PCASS accuracy is acceptable to justify its use;
    (2) you do not think the PCASS accuracy is acceptable to justify its use; or
    (3) you are not sure if the PCASS accuracy is acceptable to justify its use.

If (2) is your position, then you're for giving military people a tool that you don't think is accurate enough to justify it's use.  If (3) is the case you are doing what is not as bad: giving them a tool that only might not be accurate enough to justify its use.  But the vigor with which you attacked George makes me think that you are not agnostic about the usefulness of the device. 

Which is the case, Mr. Webb?  Is it accurate enough to use or not?  If it is not accurate enough to use, why do you want it to be used?  If you do think it is accurate enough to be used, why complain that I say you think it is accurate enough to be used?

skip.webb wrote on May 6th, 2008 at 1:37pm:
4.  As for those damnig admissions you attribute to me, you must be hearing or seeing things the rest of us don't. Roll Eyes Grin


I am just looking at the consequences of what you're saying--I'm actually taking you seriously, sir.  You are obviously upset with George for posting critical material on the PCASS online and say that he is giving aid and comfort to our enemies (the definition of treason, which you accused him of).  How?  By merely saying that the PCASS is not very accurate? Or by giving information on how it can be beaten?  From your statements it seems the later is more likely to be your position. 

But if the information does not in fact help bad guys (or anyone else) beat the PCASS, why be upset about it?  If I posted a thread saying you could beat the PCASS by eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for breakfast the day you are tested, would that be treason?  No, because it doesn't give any help to our enemies; it is a ridiculous claim.  Only if you think the information really can be used to diminish the accuracy of the PCASS would you claim he is giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

Your colleague, Sackett, also is not very good at logic.  It's a common failing among members of your guild.  Anyway, did you vote today?  If so, I hope you put more thought into casting your ballot than you do about arguments and claims that you post here.

Best wishes.
  

Is former APA President Skip Webb evil or just stupid?

Is former APA President Ed Gelb an idiot or does the polygraph just not work?

Did you know that polygrapher Sackett doesn't care about detecting deception to relevant questions?
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Skip Webb admits PCASS is easy to beat

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